Dr. Kildare : Theme Music

Theme Music

Does the theme music for this series have a name? If so, what is that name? Please respond to Edward_Ritter_700@hotmail.com.

Re: Theme Music

The theme song is called "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight". Music written by Jerrald Goldsmith and Pete Rugalo, lyrics by Hal Winn.

Re: Theme Music

Richard Chamberlain made a recording of the theme that sometimes plays on "music of your life" type radio stations.

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Re: Theme Music

Has anyone actually heard him sing it?

Re: Theme Music

I believe (but can't remember for sure) that the music was included on the only (I believe) record that Richard Chamberlain made called "Richard Chamberlain Sings" - I used to own this album but I can't remember if he sang the lyrics . . . but given the name of the record I think he did. He really had a very nice singing voice . . . and could have done a few more offerings . . . I think about that time he was being promoted in many formats. But will be most remembered as the King of the Mini-Series.

Re: Theme Music

For those of you who would like to here his singing voice, he sings in a 1966 movie with Yvette Mimieux as his wife which I can't recall the name of. I love the Slipper and the Rose (1976), and I suggest you pick it up if you really like a Cinderella tale. He sings here also. He couldn't be a professional, but he holds his own with Gemma Craven, his Irish costar in the very long film.

Re: Theme Music

The movie was probably, "Joy in the Morning." The Kildare series song, "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight" was uploaded by someone at the youtube.com site. Type "Dr. Kildare" or the name of the song in the window at the top.

Re: Theme Music

Yes, I, as a young male, actually bought the single. It starts out with the same music as the tv theme, which I loved. But then, no doubt to accommodate the lyrics, it veers far from the tv theme. If you've heard the tv version, you know it comes to a fairly unorthodox, and powerful, concluding chord – that's all missing in the vocal! As a budding musician, I was crushed because I wanted to learn to play the theme on the piano. I later went into the film business, writing episodes of THE WALTONS, and others, and have been a lifelong film music fan and of Jerry Goldsmith in particular. This was an early effort for Jerry, now deceased. He went on to do THE SAND PEBBLES, TWILIGHT ZONE, the RAMBO series, among many, many others. Basically took over the mantle of "dean of film music" that had been held by Alex North. And the Kildare theme was vintage Goldsmith – simple, harmonically unorthodox, and unforgettable.

The point is, Jerry's music for DR. KILDARE wasn't a "song" – it was a "theme", the purest element of film scoring. But that's never stopped marketing departments, I guess.

Here's a question: why are those episodes not available on DVD or VHS? My guess: MGM (who owned the rights from the 40's movie series with Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore) wouldn't give syndication or rerun rights to the tv series.


Re: Theme Music

"Has anyone actually heard him sing it?"

I have. My parents (I assume) bought a vinyl 48 record; I believe it's still around the house.

I was a lovely song, and he sang it beautifully.

Re: Theme Music

Just a note that as a youngster, I too loved Richard Chamberlain, his show Dr. Kildare, and both versions of the theme song (his record of it and the musical theme). I think I bought both versions (this was more than 40 years ago).

I'm just watching the Thorn Birds now which I found at the library - never saw the whole thing when it was on TV.

I have one episode of Dr. Kildare on tape somewhere in storage - from about 1983 when they had a retrospective weekend of old shows on some tv channel.

A note of trivia to anyone interested….you know the Miss Marple movies with Margaret Rutherford - they are very tongue in cheek, and in one of them, there is a hospital scene, where a tiny bit of the Dr. Kildare theme plays. (typical 60s' musical joke reference). But anyone younger than about 58 now, who didn't see the Dr. Kildare series in 1961-63 (!) would never know that was a mocking reference!

KILDARE Music finally available!

For all interested, a limited-edition, three-CD set of soundtrack music from the DR. KILDARE series has been released recently. Each disc runs about 78 minutes, and the first presents the scores for the five first-season episodes composed by Jerry Goldsmith (who composed the wonderful series theme).


Only 3,000 copies, at $34.95 each. (I'm not connected to this; I'm just a lifelong Jerry Goldsmith fan who's thrilled with this release.)

Re: KILDARE Music finally available!

Hi "ScopeWatcher":

Yes, I had read about this CD, which includes not only the five versions of main closing themes from each season of the "Dr. Kildare" television series, but also all the incidental and cue music of the series' episodes, including that of one of the most popular from Season Three, "Tyger, Tyger."

There are even the theme music of an earlier piece composed by Alexander Courage for an unaired pilot before Richard Chamberlain was cast, as well the somewhat slower version of the actual series pilot theme (which became the series main theme), also by Jerry Goldsmith.

I wonder if that limited run of the CD will be expanded. I am assuming the first pressings have all been sold. Do you know?

If anyone would like to hear samples of this original "Dr. Kildare" TV soundtrack, just visit the FilmScoreMonthly website from the link below and right-click on each track's time link (in the aqua box at the right of the page on this website) and "Save as Link" or "Save Target as," to save all the samples from the entire CD to your hard drive in MP3 format (you may later convert them to .WAV or another audio format, if you wish)–


This is just a beautiful piece of music history that, for those who haven't heard it, is engrossing, and, to those who are already fans of this groundbreaking TV medical drama series, will bring you right back to "Blair General Hospital."

I will say there are some (don't laugh) television soap operas' main themes which almost equal the beauty of the "Kildare" theme, two I may think of that were the themes of "The Guiding Light" in the 1970s and early '80s–"La Lanterne/ La Lumiere" (incorporating the mid-show bumper music titled "Rue d'Or," used 1970-75), and "Ritournelle" (used 1975-82); the second theme of "Search for Tomorrow" titled "We'll Search for Tomorrow" (whether live organ, orchestral, or organ with vocals versions); the second and second longest-running theme of "Another World," used from 1974-81, and the theme of "As the World Turns" used for a quarter of a century (from 1956-81) of that daytime drama's half century-plus run.

I was also a fan of the "Peyton Place" main theme music (by Franz Waxman, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster) titled "Theme from 'Peyton Place'," a/k/a "The Wonderful Season Of Love" and "Allison's Theme," the TV theme arrangement of which sort of reminds me of the "Kildare" theme, with its church bells and haunting aural quality. The Waxman theme was used for both the first 20th Century Fox film and the ABC-TV series, both based on the Grace Metalious novel of the same name.

Re: Theme Music

I bought a copy as a kid. The flip side of that 45-RPM record was "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," and I loved both sides. What memories.

By the way, Richard Chamberlain did sing professionally on the stage as well. He was Captain Von Trapp in a revival of "The Sound of Music" in the late '90s.

Re: Theme Music

It is called "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight" and I actually have the sheet music for this song with a picture of Dr. Kildare on the cover. At the time, it cost 60 cents.